Gist lives in Texas with her husband and their border collie. To learn more about Gist, visit her website or like her Facebook page.
Deeanne, it’s great to have you at Novel PASTimes this week. Could you share with us some of the surprises you’ve encountered along the road to publishing?
I think one of the things I hadn’t really thought about was having my books in foreign translations. So hearing from readers who hail from places like Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Lithuania, etc is always such a surprise and thrill. Love that!
Another surprise is listening to my book on audio. I find it so fascinating to hear the actor’s interpretation of how certain lines of dialogue are said. This can be surprising sometimes.
Please tell us something about your latest novel, Tiffany Girl.
The heir to Tiffany’s jewelry empire is left without a staff when glassworkers go on strike just months before the opening of the much-anticipated 1893 Chicago World’s Fair and the hyped mosaic Tiffany Chapel. Desperate and without another option, Louis Comfort Tiffany turns to a group of female art students to finish the job.
Our heroine, Flossie Jayne, answers the call and moves into a New York City boardinghouse with high hopes of making a name for herself as an artist and defying those who say that the work can’t be completed in time—least of all by a set of young, inexperienced women.
As she flouts polite society’s restrictions on females, her ambitions become threatened from an unexpected quarter: her own heart. She is placed in the untenable position of having to choose between her dreams and the captivating boarder next door.
Tiffany Girl is set in New York City in 1893. What drew you to write about this time period and the location of your story?
Tiffany Girl is the third book in my 1893 Chicago World’s Fair series. The books all stand alone and can be read in any order, but this particular story fascinated me because no one knew that these young women were instrumental in completing Tiffany’s all-mosaic chapel at the fair until just a few years ago when scholars uncovered a trove of letters handwritten by the head of the Tiffany Girls, Clara Driscoll. The moment I found out about them, I knew I’d write their story one day.
Have you found that you have had similar themes throughout your writing? Why? Or why not?
I find myself drawn to the incredible obstacles women faced back in the day. I am careful not to fall into the stereotypical stories of banner-waving women suffragists, but instead portray women who simply want to exercise the right to have an education, or hold a job, or own a piece a land. Still, my books cover all kinds of themes and time periods from 1644 to 1905. All, however, are set in America.
What drew you to writing historical novels?
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